PRESS ROOM: NNPA partners with Magic Johnson to fund more than $ 100 million in PPP loans for minority and women-owned businesses

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

America’s child population is the most diverse in history, but children remain the poorest age group in the country, with young people of color suffering the highest rates of poverty.

“While we reported on the 73 million children in the United States in 2019, representing 22% of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of ‘children should be children of color,’ says the The Reverend Dr Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Dr Wilson’s remarks come as Marian Wright Edelman Non-profit foundation released “The State of America’s Children 2021”.

The full report is revealing.

It highlights how children remain the poorest age group in America, with children of color and young children suffering the highest rates of poverty. For example, of the more than 10.5 million poor children in America in 2019, about 71% were of color.

The astonishing presentation revealed that income and wealth inequalities are growing and hurting children from low-income black and brown families.

While the share of all wealth held by the richest 1% of Americans rose from 30% to 37%, the share held by the poorest 90% fell from 33% to 23% between 1989 and 2019.

Today, a member of the richest 10 percent earns about 39 times more than the average wage earner of the poorest 90 percent.

The median family income of white households with children ($ 95,700) was more than double that of black households ($ 43,900) and Hispanic households with children ($ 52,300).

Additionally, the report noted that the lack of affordable housing and federal rent assistance leaves millions of children homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Over 1.5 million children enrolled in public schools experienced homelessness in the 2017-18 school year, and 74% of homeless students in the 2017-18 school year were temporarily living with it. their family or friends.

Millions of children live in food insecure households without reliable access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, and more than one in 7 children – 10.7 million – were food insecure, which means they lived in households where not everyone had enough to eat.

Black and Hispanic children were twice as likely to live in food insecure households as white children.

The report further found that American schools continued to retreat into patterns of deep racial and socio-economic segregation, perpetuating the achievement gaps.

For example, in the 2017-18 public school year, 19% of Blacks, 21% of Hispanics, and over 26% of Native American / Alaska Native students did not graduate on time, compared to only 11% of white students.

More than 77% of Hispanics and over 79% of black students in public schools in fourth and eighth grades were not proficient in reading or math in 2019, compared with less than 60% of white students.

“We find that over the past year, we have come to the point where our conversations about child welfare and our dialogue and calculation around racial justice have really met a point of intersection, and we need to therefore consider children well. – being in every conversation about racial justice and quite frankly, you can only talk about racial justice in a sustainable way if we talk about the condition of our children, ”observed Dr Wilson.

Some startling statistics found in the report include:

  • A white student in a public school is suspended every six seconds, while colored students and non-white students are suspended every two seconds.
  • The conditions leading to a person dropping out of high school occur in white students every 19 seconds, while they occur every nine seconds in non-white and colored students.
  • A white child is arrested every 1 minute and 12 seconds, while students of color and non-whites are arrested every 45 seconds.
  • A white student in a public school is corporally punished every two minutes, while students of color and non-whites face such action every 49 seconds.

Dr Wilson said federal spending “reflects the distorted priorities of the nation.”

In the report, he notes that children are not getting the investment they need to thrive, and although they make up such a large portion of the population, less than 7.5% of federal spending has been spent to children in fiscal year 2020.

Although Congress raised statutory limits on discretionary spending in fiscal 2018 to 2020, children have not received their fair share of these increases, and children’s share of total federal spending has continued to decline.

“Children continue to be the poorest segment of the population,” demanded Dr Wilson. “We are heading into a dark place when it comes to poverty and inequality in the American landscape, as our children are becoming the canary of the coal mine.”

Dr Wilson noted that the Children’s Defense Fund is happy with President Joe Biden’s decision American rescue plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and is a lifeline for disadvantaged children.

The $ 1.9 trillion plan not only contained $ 1,400 in checks for individuals, it included monthly allowances and other items to help reduce child poverty.

The president’s plan expands home visiting programs that help parents at risk from pregnancy to infancy and provides universal access to top-notch kindergarten for children aged 3 and 4.

“The US bailout carried important and powerful anti-poverty messages that will have remarkable benefits for the lives of children in America over the next two years,” said Dr. Wilson.

“The Children’s Fund was quick to applaud the president’s efforts. We have worked with partners, including at the head of a coalition against child poverty, to advance the ideas of this investment, ”he continued.

“Most notably, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit which has the effect of reducing poverty, lifting more than 50% of African American children out of poverty, 81% of Indigenous children and 45% of Hispanic children. This is not only good policy, but it is especially good policy for black and brown children. “

Click here to view the full report.

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Clara Barnard

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